Lawmakers Blocked From Stock Trading?

Photo by Caroline McFarland on Unsplash

( – On Wednesday, a group of bipartisan senators introduced a bill that would prohibit Congress members, along with their spouses and dependent children, from purchasing stocks and other specified investments. The legislation, known as the ETHICS Act, also includes measures to prevent lawmakers from selling stocks for 90 days following the bill’s enactment and mandates that the president and vice president divest from all such investments by 2027.

Senator Jon Ossoff, a Democrat from Georgia, who is spearheading the initiative alongside Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), emphasized the importance of this reform. “Members of Congress should not be playing the stock market while we make federal policy and have extraordinary access to confidential information,” Ossoff stated. He also noted that this bipartisan announcement marks a significant step toward passing the bill, though challenges remain.

The proposed legislation, which now awaits approval from the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee before it can be considered on the Senate floor, would also prohibit the use of blind trusts by lawmakers, a practice Ossoff himself eschewed in 2021 by placing his stock portfolio in such a trust.

Senator Peters described the bill as a “commonsense piece of legislation” that is crucial for maintaining public trust in the government. The group of senators is hopeful that their efforts will resonate with House Republicans, many of whom have expressed interest in advancing similar measures. Senator Hawley highlighted the bill’s seriousness and urged his Republican colleagues in the House to support it, reflecting a bipartisan desire to ensure ethical standards among federal lawmakers.

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